Artist Fran Lagana-Brooks felt the heartache, as did all of Western New York when Officer Craig Lehner lost his life in October. Fran went to work and created a painting that she felt would bring some comfort to Craig's mother Kathy.
Fran is the creator of one of the most popular works of art to ever come out of Western New York-"The Weeping Santa." Many of her paintings include a common feature, Fran says "I have a tear in everything."
The Lehner family met with Fran at the Lakeside Memorial Funeral home in Hamburg, where Officer Lehner's wake was held . The meeting was arranged by the funeral director Charles Castiglia and a friend of Fran's, attorney Ralph Lorigo.
The painting contains a realistic image of Officer Craig Lehner, wrapped in the arms of Jesus with Craig's K-9 partner Shield looking on. Shield has a tear in his eye. After studying the painting, Craig's mother Kathy said "he's trying to tell you look at me, I'm in the arms of the Lord, I'm well taken care of, I'm okay now."